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Obedience is a key element in serving God.
Many people go to Webster’s Dictionary or some other dictionary to obtain the proper definition for a word.
In this case, I don’t think it will be necessary. I’ve got this. Hopefully.
Obedience could be defined as doing what an authority figure requires or commands. A synonym – and again with no thesaurus available – could be the word “compliance.”
An advertisement that ran a few years ago encouraged viewers to “obey your thirst.”
I guess that is okay. There are times when I feel thirsty, and I do just that. I get something to drink. The ad tried to get folks to purchase Sprite, which is likely appealing to some.
When it comes to spiritual thirst, the living water Jesus offered to the woman at the well will suffice. He told her that those who drink this water will never thirst again.
But those who serve God must obey Him. The only way possible for that – since all have sinned and come short of God’s glory – is through the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us and gives us the ability to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.
When King Saul was disobedient to God’s command to destroy the Amalekites, Samuel had a talk with him.
Saul had told Samuel that he kept back some of the choicest animals for sacrificial use. In their conversation, Samuel told the king that obedience – or doing what God said – is better than sacrifice.
The sacrifice, you see, was offered as a result of man’s disobedience to God.
It would be better, then, to obey.
Thank God for the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus that washes away our sin and makes us whole.
Psalm 40 provides insight into the future coming of Jesus into the world. The animal sacrifices that were offered through the law as an atonement for sin could not compare to what was to come.
“Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” – Psalm 40:6-9
Those scriptures are again referenced in Hebrews in the New Testament. They allude to Jesus’ perfect obedience – He was without sin. The amazing aspect is that Jesus also became the required sacrifice to provide atonement for man’s sin.
Hebrews 10:5-9 states, “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.”
While in the human body here that was prepared for Him, Jesus was 100 percent obedient to the Father’s will. Through that obedience, Jesus could be offered as a perfect sacrifice for mankind. With no sin in Him, Jesus also was able to defeat death, hell and the grave through His death and ensuing resurrection.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice. God in the flesh provided us the bridge back to God.
Romans 1:3-4 references His victory and authority: “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
The magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice is almost unfathomable. Though He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, He took on Him the form of a servant and became obedient unto death – even the death of the cross.
That obedience to His Father’s will – not my will, but thine be done – enabled us to come to God.
There is power in that sacrifice – in the pure blood of Jesus. Power to make us right with God.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” – Hebrews 9:12-14.
Another verse – Hebrews 10:14 – reveals the victory of Jesus’s obedience in following His Father’s will by offering Himself.
“For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”